QUILT AS YOU GO TUTORIAL – SASHING FRONT AND BACK


 

Crazy house quilt as you go

Crazy house quilt as you go

Quilt as you go with sashing can be a neat way of joining your quilt blocks together while saving yourself the trouble of trying to quilt a large quilt in a domestic sewing machine.  For this quilt I have used sashing on both the front and back of the quilt.  It is more testing that just having sashing on the front because you have to be more careful with your measurements so that your sashing is in line both on the front and the back.  This definitely hasn’t been one of my neatest projects, but I’ll try and show how I could have done things better as I go along.

I’ve used the crazy house quilt block – also known as the Z Cross block – and I have made four of the blocks, using mainly 3.1/2″ squares with 2.1/2″ strips for the sashing.  The quilt has a stunning array of secondary designs, which I’m really pleased with.  It measures 36″ square and I have used 1/2 yard each of purple, dark brown and white fabric, with 3/4 yard of blue and light brown.  This is for everything – backing and binding included.

Cutting requirements

3.1/2″ squares:  sixteen purple, sixteen dark brown, sixteen white, twenty blue

3.7/8″ squares:  eight each in purple and white, eight each in dark brown and white

2.1/2″ squares:  nine blue for the cornerstones

2.1/2″ by 15.1/2″ strips for sashing:  twenty light brown

2.1/2″ strips cut across the width of fabric:  four blue for the binding

20″ squares: four blue for the backing, four wadding

Making the crazy house quilt block

Make half square triangles

Make half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangles.  Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to give two half square triangle units which are 3.1/2″ squares.  Make these in the colour combinations listed above for 3.7/8″ squares.

 

 

 

Crazy house quilt block layout

Crazy house quilt block layout

Crazy house quilt block

Crazy house quilt block

Lay the squares out in five rows of five for each crazy house quilt block.  The blue 3.1/2″ squares form a cross in the middle.  Each corner has two squares and two half square triangles in either brown or purple, arranged in a sort of Z pattern and there is a white square in the middle of each edge.  Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  Make four of these blocks.

 

 

Quilt as you go technique – Layering each quilt block

Layer each quilt block

Layer each quilt block

Quilt as you go each block

Quilt as you go each block

Lay a backing fabric square with right side down.  Place a wadding square on top and a crazy house quilt block with right side up.  Pin the layers together.  Quilt to within an inch or two of the edge of the block.  You need to leave at least 1″ unquilted so that you can separate the layers out to sew sashing to individual layers.  I have quilted V’s in the cross which shows up better in the video than it does in the photo, and I have used meander quilting outside the cross because that was the easiest option given that I had to leave the edges free.  This is the basis of quilt as you go.

 

Mark central lines on the quilt block

Mark central lines on the quilt block

Mark a line along the middle of the block in both directions – side to side and up and down.  This is to help with the measurements for cutting the wadding and backing.  At the edge of the block you will be able to flip over and make a mark in the same place on the backing so that you can draw the same two lines on the back of each block.

The blocks are sewn together in a rotation so that you always have a dark brown Z in the middle.  Arrange your blocks in this way before you go any further so that you know which edge to trim first.

 

 

 

Draw a line 8.1/2" from the middle

Draw a line 8.1/2″ from the middle

Measure and make two marks 8.1/2″ from the middle of the block on one edge of each quilt block.  These edges will be the inner seams of the quilt – they will not be the same edge on each block.  These marks will be on the wadding about 3/4″ beyond the edge of the patchwork.  As you can see, you need your ruler horizontal to make the two marks, and then turn your ruler to the vertical to draw a line in the vertical direction using those two marks to make sure your line is in line.  Cut along this line.

 

 

Trim the backing fabric

Trim the backing fabric

Flip the quilt block so that you can work on the backing fabric.  Mark a line 7.3/4″ from the centre line and cut along that line.  You should now have the backing fabric and the patchwork the same size as each other, with the wadding sticking out 3/4″ beyond them.

 

 

 

Quilt as you go method – Sewing the blocks together

Sew sashing to the quilt block

Sew sashing to the quilt block

Sew a sashing strip to the backing

Sew a sashing strip to the backing

With the patchwork facing you, fold the wadding and backing fabric away and sew a sashing strip to the edge of the first quilt block.  That’s down the right hand side in the photo.

Place another sashing strip on the backing fabric.  Fold the sashing to find its centre and then line up the centre of the sashing strip with the centre of the quilt block edge.  Sew in place.

 

 

Sew the sashing to the second quilt block

Sew the sashing to the second quilt block

Place blocks with right sides together

Place blocks right sides together

Sew the sashing to a second quilt block.  Place the two blocks with right sides together, the wadding and backing folded back from both of them.  Make two pairs of quilt blocks.  Each pair of blocks is now joined by the sashing on the front.

 

 

 

Trim the wadding if necessary

Trim the wadding if necessary

Turn under a small hem

Turn under a small hem

Lay the pair of blocks with right side down.  The wadding should just meet in the middle.  Trim it if it doesn’t so that there is no overlap causing bumps.  Flip the sashing strip across the join to the second quilt block.  Turn under a 1/4″ hem and sew in place.  I used a zigzag machine stitch.  That was my first mistake – I should have hand stitched them as I usually do for quilt as you go.  It’s more easy to ease the fabric when hand sewing, and it doesn’t show on the front of the quilt block.

 

Joining the pairs of quilt as you go blocks

Sashing strip between pairs of blocks

Sashing strip between pairs of blocks

Sew sashing strip to one pair of blocks

Sew sashing strip to one pair of blocks

Join the two pairs of blocks together in the same way as for the individual blocks.  Measure 8.1/2″ from the centre of the patchwork block and cut along that line – it’s just a longer line this time.  Trim the backing fabric 7.3/4″ from the centre.  The sashing strip is made by sewing a 15.1/2″ brown strip either side of a blue 2.1/2″ square.  Sew this to one edge of the pair of blocks.  Pin the blue cornerstone to the sashing between the blocks first and then pin out to each side.

 

 

Sew sashing on front and back

Sew sashing on front and back

Place the other pair of blocks on top with right sides together and sew the sashing to the second pair of blocks, joining the two pairs.  Repeat with the sashing on the backs of the pairs of quilt blocks.  I think that this quilt as you go pattern is one where you definitely might find the video helpful if my instructions here don’t seem clear.  The link to the video is at the bottom of the page.

 

 

Quilt as you go tutorial – Sashing for the borders

Add sashing to top and bottom

Add sashing to top and bottom

The sashing going round the outside of the quilt is sewn on with slightly different measurements.  For these remaining four edges, cut the wadding along a line 9.3/4″ from the middle of the block.  The backing fabric is still cut along a line 7.3/4″ from the centre of the backing square.  For the top and bottom of the quilt, the sashing is made from two brown strips and one blue square the same as the strip between the two pairs of quilt as you go blocks.

For the sashing down the sides of the quilt, the sashing needs to have an additional blue square at each end, so that the sashing strip is made with three blue squares and two brown strips.

 

How could I have improved my quilt as you go quilt?

Mountains in my sashing

Mountains in my sashing

Dense quilting can help

Dense quilting can help

I was disappointed with the initial look of my quilt, so here are some of my thoughts on it.

First off, remember the saying:  measure twice and cut once.  My measuring obviously wasn’t as accurate as I thought it was.

As already mentioned, I wish I had handsewn the final seam on the sashing strips on the backing instead of machine sewing.  A walking foot would have helped, but I still think that nothing beats hand sewing for that stage of quilt as you go.

Having ended up with bumpy sashing, dense quilting can work wonders.  You can see from the two photos above how much flatter dense quilting can make the quilt look.  Not ideal, but an improvement.

I have to say, though, that I love the quilt pattern even if my technique did let me down this week!

Here’s the video:

 


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Comments

  1. Rose, You set such high goals for yourself by teaching a quilt a week Take it easy and fresh on your escorted tour. Sounds like fun in your own back yard. We all need to explore the advantages in our areas as opposed to far reaching ones that call for a packed bag. Margot

  2. Thank you so much Rose – we all make mistakes and it is wonderful that you -a master quilter can admit it. In Hebrew there is an expression “Kol Hacavod” and it means “all honour to you”. You encourage us to go ahead, make mistakes, make it better next time if you can. If you can’t make it anyway – just enjoy it!
    thank you again for all your efforts
    Fay

    • Thanks for your comments, Fay. There’s also an Amish saying that you can’t make a perfect quilt – it must always have a mistake in it. Well, obviously I was just following that rule!

  3. Hi Rose

    I like your quilt very much and it was good of you to come clean about it. I look forward to receiving your email each Friday as your work is inspiring; many thanks 🙂

    • Thanks, Sue. I like the quilt as well – just not happy with my technique!

      • Wouldn’t life be boring if everything we did was perfect, quilts re like life, you have to learn by your mistakes. Always enjoy your emails Rose, you are a prolific worker! Thank you.

        • Thanks for your comments, Viv. I agree – not so interesting if there were no mistakes to rectify. I keep my stitch unpicker close at hand always.

  4. Thank you Rose for the wonderful tutorial!! I wish you had a way for us to print your tutorials. You make all your quilt tutorials look easy. I am going to try to print this out, so I can put this on my to do list. I am a beginner & I have only made 1 quilt as you go, it was time consuming, but I did enjoy doing it. Thank you again, I do appreciate all your hard work.
    Linda King

    • Hi Linda. Thanks for your comments. You should be able to print any of the quilt patterns. Towards the bottom of each page there’s a small green box saying ‘print friendly’. If you click on that you should be able to print the page.

  5. Hi Rose,

    Wonderful quilt, It’s really inspiring to learn that a professional not only makes mistakes, but also admits to it . Thank you for yor emails look forward to getting them

  6. Dear Rose,
    THANK YOU for sharing this, I LOVE that did, “mistakes and all”. And it is a lovely quilt, in spite of that. Well Done. <3

  7. Carolyn McAllister says:

    Dear Rose,
    Oh boy do I feel better after reading about you problems! I have been frustrated all day sewing my first quilt-as -you go together. The sash strips are terrible…nothing matches. Had to put the blasted thing down for a bit and checked my computer…there was your blog. Thank you! I will give it a go again this weekend. Carolyn

    • Hi Carolyn. Thanks for your comments. Don’t get disheartened. Remember that you see all your mistakes, but others don’t – they see the quilt as a whole.

  8. Hi Rose I always look forward to your emails and many many thanks for taken the time to share not only your time and expertise but to be honest to tell us that you made a mistake . well Rose we are only human and your work is an inspiration to as all . so thanks Rose Cheers Margaret ( bonnie Scotland )

  9. Sandra Barnett says:

    Rest and enjoy yourself this weekend Don’t beat yourself up You are amazing doing a quilt a week It still looks good to me Hoping I can do as good a job as you did ENJOY

  10. Marilyn Larkin says:

    Dearest Rose,
    What can I say? All accolades to you, for perseverance, honesty and overcoming that greatest emotion of all the fear of failure. You have achieved wonders. Enjoy your wonderful walking tour, who knows maybe some of the mythical creatures will soothe your soul and bring you the giggles and lighthearted approach which can only bring pleasure to your heart. Thank-you for sharing your trials with us. Enjoy the weekend.
    Marilyn

  11. Hi Rose,
    When you said mistakes, it reminded me of my grandmother’s quilt that was all hand made. It was full of mistakes. The stitches and appliques were uneven, the corners were mismatched but it sure turned out to be a beautiful quilt. If you hadn’t mentioned your mistakes no one would have known the difference. I know I wouldn’t. Love your website. I would love to see you show us how you prepare your fabric before you start cutting.
    Enjoy your weekend.

    • Hi Claire. Thanks for your comments. I think you’re right – we see our own mistakes but other people see the quilt as a whole. Preparing fabric: I’m one of those who don’t pre wash, so all I do is press the fabric before I start.

  12. Have found out this type of quilting is a huge challenge as I made one for my son and as a new quilter it was two years before I finished it. Much admiration for you to do this in the short time that you manage to do something each week. We visited Shropshire in the 80’s so stay stress free and enjoy.

    • Thanks for your comments, Narelle. I always have mixed feelings about quilt as you go. The quilting is more simple but it can take longer putting everything together.

  13. It’s lovely to see your tutorials very week and this quilt looks lovely! I’m a beginner and have just left mine on the table as its not going well, so this gives me inspiration to have another go!

    • Hi Vicki. Thanks for commenting. If your quilt isn’t going well it’s best to take a break – go for a walk or something. When you come back you’ll probably find that the problem wasn’t as bad as you thought. Or at least you will feel more like tackling it again. Don’t worry – it happens to all of us, but the feeling of satisfaction when you complete the quilt makes up for the frustrations.

  14. sally wasley says:

    Hi Rose – what a joy your tutorials are. I thoroughly look forward to them every week. How refreshing to find a quilter as skilled as yourself explaining the problems had and possibly solutions. You are truly inspirational! I hope you enjoy your weekend. It’s been a while since I visited stiperstones, but haven’t forgotten how beautiful the area is.

  15. Dear Rose
    Well done for being brave enough to show you’re only human like the rest of us! Thanks for your great tutorials.
    Love
    Barbara

  16. I am glad you chose the 3rd option! I love quilting but also love the little mistakes that I know are there – proof it is handmade!! As said above, the mistakes are not seen, just the quilt as a whole. Thank you for your tutorials – they are my “go-tos” when I am not sure of how to do….. anything!

  17. Cecilia Alcantar says:

    Hi Rose,
    Thank heaven for folks like you in the quilting world.
    You’ve touched so many patterns and bordered fine workmanship.
    It makes sense to share with us how there are times it’s not satisfying enough. I learn more from you and your experience is wisdom to be shared. Thanks for being you. Cecilia Alcantar

    • Hi Cecilia. Thanks for your kind comments. I wasn’t sure whether to share this quilt as you go project, but I’ve had so many encouraging comments that it’s been a treat.

  18. Hi,you still encourage me even with mistakes ,I love the blocks,and so glad you went out got fresh air,exercise ,company,you will feel refreshed now,and don’t be hard on yourself,enjoy the rest of the week,your photo s of silver rocks are beautiful take care Liz

    • Hi Liz. Thanks for your comments. Yes, the stiperstones certainly did blow the cobwebs out – my calf muscles are still protesting this morning!

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